CDB approves USD65 mn for electricity systems upgrade in Suriname
The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a loan of USD65 million to the Government of Suriname. The financing will upgrade and expand sections of the country' transmission, sub-transmission and distribution networks, which will enable N.V. Energie Bedrijven Suriname (EBS), to deliver a more reliable, efficient and sustainable electricity supply. The Electricity System Upgrade and Expansion Project will result in the upgrade of 36.6 kilometres of sub-transmission and distribution lines; the Construction of five new substations, the expansion or upgrade of three existing substations; and the installation of three solar photovoltaic plants by 2021. The Project also provides for the undertaking of a Master Grid Study and a Dynamic Stability Study, in anticipation of changes to the operating environment, as a result of provisions under the country' new Electricity Act (2016). Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB notes: “We are committed to working with the Government of Suriname to strengthen and modernise its social and economic infrastructure. The energy sector is a key driver for sustained economic growth and improved long-term competitiveness for Suriname." He added that the newly approved Project builds on the policy-based loan approved for Suriname in May 2016, which aims to assist the Government of Suriname with its adjustment programme to address challenges in its energy sector' operational, policy and regulatory environment. In addition to financing from CDB, the initiative will be supported by a contribution of USD33.325 million from the Government of Suriname and EBS. The Project aligns with CDB' Suriname Country Strategy Paper (2014-2018), which identified the need for significant investments in the energy sector to support economic growth. It is also consistent with Bank' Strategic Plan 2015-2019 and Energy Sector Policy and Strategy, in which it highlights energy efficiency and renewable energy as priority investment areas for CDB.